McDERMOTT — Just as things got into crunch time, it appeared as if South Webster cutting Northwest’s lead to 44-40 with just over 4:30 left would be a continuation of things to come.
However, quite the opposite happened.
A Bella Claxon made free throw cut the Lady Mohawks’ lead to four with over half the fourth quarter to play — the closest the Lady Jeeps had gotten to Northwest since the first half.
In the final four minutes and change down the stretch, the Lady Mohawks went on to outscore their guests 13-0 and win 57-40 — sealing their 12th win of the season in 16 tries (12-4, 8-3 SOC II).
A big reason the Lady Mohawks were able to close as strongly as they did was their ability to rebound and subsequently get chances at the free-throw line.
For the game, Northwest outrebounded South Webster 44-27 and attempted 34 free throws, connecting on 25 of their attempts.
Northwest coach Dave Frantz said following the win that part of its ability to do those things well is its experience over the last few seasons in tight games.
“These girls have a lot of starts under their belts,” Frantz said. “I have two four-year starters, a three-year starter, a two-year starter — we should come out ready and I think it’s shown they know they’re going to have to step up their game the later it gets. And we can’t live on this, we have to continue to grow.”
South Webster attempted less than one-third of the free throws that Northwest did, while connecting on 16 field goals — a dozen two-pointers and a quartet of triples.
“It was a very physical game, some of it away from the ball and sometimes on it. We just have to overcome those things, and I felt like there were some possessions there late where we should have converted,” South Webster coach Ryan Dutiel said, after the game. “Just missed some easy shots, I think we worked so hard to get through the screens and the physical part of it that we just over shot the rim and put a little too much English on the ball.”
Northwest senior Haidyn Wamsley scored a game-high 17 points, scoring the game’s first bucket on a layup in the halfcourt.
Wamsley also dished five assists and grabbed a pair of steals.
Lady Mohawks junior Kloe Montgomery posted a double-double — 10 points and 13 rebounds — while fellow junior Ava Jenkins posted a near double-double with nine points and 11 boards.
Senior Valerie Copas reached double figures also, scoring 10 on a pair of triples and 4-of-4 foul shooting.
“I think it started with Haidyn (Wamsley) and how she took charge on the offensive end,” Frantz said. “Tonight, from the beginning, she hit the opening layup to start the game. Then once they collapsed, we knew we’d have to attack the inside-out to open up free shooters. For us to win, I never know who the leading scorer is going to be. We try to play off what they give us.”
South Webster was led by junior Bri Claxon’s team-high 14 points, adding to her over 1,000-point total for her high school career — a mark she achieved in last Wednesday’s road win over Ironton St. Joe.
Freshman Bella Claxon and junior Faith Maloney each scored eight points, despite being the Lady Jeeps’ two foul-outs by the end of the fourth.
Monday’s meeting was the first between SW and Northwest this season — and this week.
On Saturday (Jan. 30), the Lady Jeeps will get another crack at the Lady Mohawks, this time at their home court with a game versus Waverly on Thursday night sandwiched in between.
Despite the unique circumstances of playing the same team twice in a week’s span, Dutiel said SW’s focus will be winning every quarter — and in doing so hopefully the game.
“It’s very unique. We want to make sure that we’re not looking at the whole game — we want to win every quarter,” Dutiel said. “Want to take it in smaller steps. Some things we want to work on this week, look at the film and see some of the things they did and work on some counters to that.”
Northwest also has a game in between its rematch with South Webster —a road trip to face West Union on Wednesday (Jan. 27).
“We will never look ahead, because that’s when you get taken from behind,” Frantz said. “We’ll discuss and watch film on South Webster probably on Thursday. West Union always seems to play us well, that’s our focus coming up first.”
South Webster 10 11 9 10 — 40
Northwest 13 13 11 20 — 57
SOUTH WEBSTER 40 (10-6, 6-5 SOC II)
Faith Maloney 4 0-0 8, Liz Shupert 1 0-0 3, Brooklyn Blanton 0 0-0 0, Bri Claxon 6 0-2 14, Kerith Wright 0 0-0 0, Skylar Zimmerman 2 3-7 7, Bella Claxon 3 1-2 8; TOTALS 16 4-11 40; Three-point field goals: 4 (Bri Claxon 2, Bella Claxon and Liz Shupert 1 apiece)
NORTHWEST 57 (12-4, 8-3 SOC II)
Terah Webb 0 0-0 0, Valerie Copas 2 4-4 10, Haidyn Wamsley 5 7-9 17, Ava Jenkins 2 5-7 9, Faith Jewett 2 0-0 4, Reagan Lewis 3 1-2 7, Kloe Montgomery 1 8-12 10; TOTALS 15 25-34 57; Three-point field goals: 2 (Valerie Copas 2)
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved